Stanford University

Financial Aid

Master's students receive financial support from a variety of sources, including personal savings and hourly/assistantship work. In addition, the Stanford Financial Aid Office will help graduate students cover the cost of attendance from a variety of loan sources. 

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program  

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. Every year, up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, including the DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs, as well as joint- and dual-degrees. Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world.

Applicants for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program may specify the Symbolic Systems M.S. program as the graduate program to which they are applying, and if an applicant is admitted and selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, funding will be provided for the full costs of attendance.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Students may also apply for any available positions as Teaching or Research Assistants. Assistantships, when available, are usually arranged quarter by quarter, and are not usually available for the entire duration of a student's degree program.

  • Research Assistantships: students may ask individual faculty whether they have funding that could support a Masters' student in Symbolic Systems to do work in that faculty member's research group. Your chances of securing funding with a faculty member who can support M.S. students will improve substantially if you first  take a course taught by the faculty member and/or do research with them for credit only. If you prove yourself to be a valuable team member, you may eventually work into a funded position. See also the following:
    • CURIS - Website containing a year-round index of current research projects with Computer Science faculty who are looking for undergraduates and masters students. Database including masters-level RAships is available to students logged in with a SUNET ID.
  • Teaching Assistantships: students may apply for Course Assistant and Teaching Assistant positions on campus. 
    • Find Grad Teaching Opportunities (list of TA positions in departments and programs that that recruit students from other departments to fill their positions)
    • Symsys 1 (Minds and Machines) hires 5 to 7 Symbolic Systems students per year as TAs. Contact the instructor(s) of the course at least one quarter prior to when it is offered to inquire about these opportunities.
    • Computer Science - Course Assistants (CAs) (website for applying for CS Dept. TAships, open to Symbolic Systems students, but priority goes to CS students)

Cost of Attendance and Tuition

Symbolic Systems MS students usually take 8-10 or 11-18 units per quarter. Coterminal students may finish the program in 3 quarters, while external students usually take up to 6 quarters or two academic years. Read more about graduate tuition rates 

The total cost of attendance includes rent, board, travel, books, etc. Stanford's central Financial Aid Office provides estimated costs for the Student Budget